Cubs Rumors: Why Gerrit Cole makes sense for the rotation in 2020

(Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Cubs have over $50 million in funds coming off the payroll after this season. One guy who is becoming a free agent makes a lot of sense for 2020 in Cubs Rumors.

The Chicago Cubs Ben Zobrist, Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, and Cole Hamels are all free agents. Gerrit Cole will headline the free agent class for pitchers, and he makes a ton of sense for the Cubs. Not only do they lose Hamels after the season unless they resign him. But Jose Quintana is also a free agent after the 2020 season, and possibly Jon Lester, depending on his 2021 option. Tyler Chatwood’s contract is also up after next season.

That leaves Kyle Hendricks and Yu Darvish as the only two pitchers under contract after 2020. Pile that on top of the fact that no pitcher is under the age of 30 anymore, Cole would be refreshing for a few reasons.

  • He is only 29, which would be the youngest starter on the staff.
  • Cole would be a nice change of pace; he is averaging 13 K/9 on the season with the Astros.
  • He is familiar with the Central, having pitched for the Pirates for five seasons.

Cole would miss bats, which is something the Cubs pitching staff desperately needs. His 3.30 career ERA would rank second on the Cubs staff behind Kyle Hendricks. He has also pitched 200 innings three times and is well on pace for a fourth season this year, and that is music to the ears of a consistently overworked bullpen.

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Bruce Levine first mentioned the possibility yesterday, and the Cubs will have the flexibility to make this deal. The thinking is that Cole goes back home to California to play for the Dodgers, Angels, or the up-and-coming Padres, serving as the Padres’ version of Jon Lester for the Cubs back in 2015.

We have seen the power of the Cubs recruiting tactics before, as Shohei Ohtani put the Cubs in his final group of teams before deciding on the Angels, and the Cubs were able to lure Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, and Darvish to Chicago as well.

Cole’s career ERA’s against Central division opponents are 4.68 against the Reds, 3.55 against the Brewers, 2.96 against the Cardinals, and 2.53 against the Cubs. The Cubs could avoid the pain of having to face him again by just simply having him on the team. The 2.96 against St. Louis is a nice luxury as well. He has made one start against his former team, and he gave up one run in six innings.

If Cole doesn’t work out, maybe the Cubs turn their attention to Madison Bumgarner or a cheaper arm like Rick Porcello. They need to add an arm this offseason, and time will tell if it happens.

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The Cubs have struck out on some recent free-agent signings, and they need to hit on one again. Cole makes the most sense, and the Cubs’ brass should be on this guy until he signs on the dotted line.

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